Dog's drool is a normal part of life for some breeds of dog, but what do you do if there's a lot of slobber on your pet's face? Is it cause for concern? Today, our Jackson vets discuss drooling in dogs and when you should be concerned.
Why do dogs drool?
Like humans, dogs produce saliva. Saliva is 98% water, but it also contains antibacterial compounds, enzymes, and electrolytes that are essential for good health. This enzyme-rich juice is produced by glands near the jaw and drains into the mouth via ducts.
Amylase, an enzyme that starts the digestive process, is contained in saliva. During chewing, amylase interacts with food and breaks it down. Saliva moistens the chewed food and helps form a bolus, which facilitates swallowing. A moist mouth is more comfortable than a dry mouth and enhances taste.
By clearing food particles from the teeth, saliva reduces the formation of cavities and prevents tooth decay. Saliva's antibacterial properties help to reduce germs in the mouth that cause bad breath.
Saliva is beneficial, but too much of it can be harmful. Excess saliva fills the dog's mouth, runs over the brim, and he drools. When the dog produces excessive saliva, he does not swallow it all. Overall, saliva is beneficial, but excessive production can cause health problems.
What are some breeds that drool?
All dogs drool occasionally, but some breeds drool more than others. Among them are St Bernards, bulldogs, bloodhounds, Mastiffs, Newfoundlands, and Bernese mountain dogs. These breeds may not always have normal excessive drooling, so it's a good idea to keep track of your dog's normal level of drooling.
What causes drooling in dogs?
There are many causes of drooling in dogs. Some of the most common include:
Smelling Food: Because your dog has over 200 million scent receptors a stronger reaction when he smells your food, his food, or even when you open the dog food bag.
Nausea: These include gastrointestinal (GI) issues, vestibular (balance) issues, and motion sickness. When a dog is nauseated, his salivary glands go into overdrive and he drools.
Physical Formation: Because the anatomy of their mouths allows the liquid to dribble out, some dogs' saliva production appears excessive. Giant breeds are known for their saggy lips and drooping jowls, which do not effectively hold saliva in and allow it to drain. Drooling breeds include the Bloodhound, Mastiff, St. Bernard, and Newfoundlanders.
Dental Problems: Dogs can develop dental problems, even though saliva protects their teeth. Bacteria are trapped by tartar accumulation, leading to gingivitis and periodontitis. Inflamed or infected gums become sore, and bony tissue deterioration causes teeth to become loose in their sockets. Teeth can fall out or fracture, causing pain. Excessive salivation is caused by all of these dental issues.
Injuries and/or Growths: Excessive drooling can be caused by abrasions from chewing hard objects, ulcers, cuts, and burns. Drooling can also be caused by lumps or bumps in the mouth. These growths could be harmless warts or cancerous tumors. Even innocuous growths can cause drooling.
Excitement: When dogs are excited or agitated, they drool. That's why they slobber all over you!
When is drooling a sign of an underlying problem?
Drooling, however, can also be a symptom of another, underlying problem. Here are some other signs that might also come with hypersalivation:
Decreased Appetite or a Change in Eating Routine: Chronic GI problems can cause hypersalivation, which may gradually decrease the dog's appetite. If the cause of drooling is nausea, it may be temporary and will stop when the upset stomach resolves. When dogs have sore mouths, they may hesitate to eat dry kibble even if they love it. They may hold their heads at an odd angle in an attempt to position the food on the less painful side and they may drop food from their mouths. When served soft, moistened food, they often eat better.
Changing Behavior: When a dog is in pain, even the sweetest of dogs can become aggressive. When other dogs are in pain, they become reclusive and withdrawn.
Pawing at the Face: Some dogs with oral pain will rub their muzzles with their paws or on the floor to try to relieve the pain. When swallowing food or water, drooling dogs with esophageal or stomach problems may gulp or extend their necks.
How to Stop a Dog From Drooling
To treat the underlying cause, one may use cleaning teeth, extracting teeth, treating GI problems, avoiding irritants, healing injuries, or giving nausea medication before a trip.If the problem is behavioral, calm your dog before allowing guests into the house, or place the dog in a quiet area while you entertain visitors. Keep a towel nearby to mop up the deluge when cooking dinner, as you may start drooling.
If it's due to their mouth shape, try tying a trendy bandanna around your dog's neck to catch the slobber. After all, all those flapping jaws give your dog character, right?